Emerging trends and influences in Ghanaian hospitality industry education and employability

SADIK, Adiza (2017). Emerging trends and influences in Ghanaian hospitality industry education and employability. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00037


Whilst the scale of the employability needs of hospitality graduates is well known in developed countries, very little is known about this with regard to Ghana. There is concern in Ghana that the educational system is failing to produce employable graduates. This problem is more acute in hospitality education, where the curriculum structures may not support the effective preparation of the graduates for employment in the hospitality industry. In order to fill this gap, this research investigated the factors that influence the education and employability of hospitality graduates in Ghana, by examining the effectiveness of hospitality education in meeting the hospitality industry skills requirements and proposing a framework that will help to equip hospitality graduates with the employability skills and competencies required by the hospitality industry. To achieve this aim, a thorough literature review was carried out, which gave rise to the following research questions: 1) What is the current understanding of the concept of employability in Ghana, what employability skills and competencies does the hospitality industry need as a prerequisite for employable hospitality graduate, and how can hospitality education in Ghana meet these requirements? 2) Taking into consideration research question 1, how can the findings elucidate the problem of hospitality graduate employability in Ghana, and subsequently develop a framework to address the essential employer skills and competency requirements? Three of the existing employability models, USEM, DOTS and CareerEdge, were considered based on an extensive review of the literature on graduate employability. These models tend to be oriented towards developed countries and so may be not entirely suitable for studying a developing country like Ghana. However, the models informed the development of a Ghanaian Hospitality Employability Enhancement Framework (GHEEF) based on the findings of this research. The study provides evidence from the Ghanaian context of a lack of research focusing on the use and application of employability models for enhancing hospitality graduate employability, especially using the GHEEF to improve hospitality education. To answer the questions outlined above (and refine the GHEEF), the research was carried out using a mixed-methods approach to the data analysis which combines qualitative insights from the lived experiences of students, lecturers and employers regarding Ghanaian hospitality graduates’ employability, with a questionnaire-based empirical measurement of the extent of the employability problem. An initial discussion with supervisors to achieve content validity in designing the research instruments was conducted. This was reinforced by a focus group study of hospitality lecturers, questionnaire surveys of lecturers and graduates, and a semi-structured interview of employers. The data analysis triangulated the research findings across these stakeholder groups. The main findings of the research include an acute lack of understanding of the concept of employability among lecturers, graduates and employers, the need for curriculum innovations, a disenabling environment for hospitality education, which fails to equip students with industry-based employability skills, and the ranking of the relative potential of different hospitality courses to support the development of specific employability skills, using Pareto analysis and course-employability skills affinity matrices. The latter is a new result, unknown in the employability literature prior to this research. The key contribution to knowledge of the findings includes an elucidation of the key gaps in hospitality graduate employability education in Ghana; the mapping of the range of employability skills that graduates should possess in order to be successfully employed within the hospitality industry; the theoretical development of a conceptual framework for researching and improving employability education in Ghana; and the ii creation of a Ghanaian Hospitality Employability Enhancement Framework (GHEEF), which will offer practical guidance on how to address these challenges.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Ali, Alisha [0000-0002-7667-4293]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Alisha Ali No PQ harvesting
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00037
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 15:53
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:00
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16810

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